Hospital Air Warming Systems May Play a Role in Knee Replacement Surgery Complications

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Hospital Air Warming Systems May Play a Role in Knee Replacement Surgery Complications

Bair Hugger® blankets were developed to solve a perceived problem. During surgery, patients are put under using general anesthesia, which hampers the body’s ability to regulate its own temperature. By covering the patient with a disposable blanket, medical care providers are able to keep patients warm during an operation.

But new information has come to light about the dangers associated with use of the Bair Hugger® products. According to various scientific journal articles1, the Bair Hugger® products can increase the risk of infection due to contaminants being circulated in the air. Plaintiffs accuse the blanket’s manufacturer, 3M Company, of failing to warn patients and the medical community about the problems associated with these blankets, putting patients at unreasonable risk of harm.

How It Works

Used in hundreds of hospitals in the U.S., the Bair Hugger® uses forced-air warming technology to prevent and treat hypothermia during surgery.

Just months after Arizant was acquired by 3M Company, the blanket’s inventor, Dr. Scott D. Augustine, told The New York Times that he wanted hospitals to stop selling the Bair Hugger® blanket. He explained that the blanket can increase the risk of infection in certain surgeries, and maintains a website where he demonstrates how his research shows the blankets can circulate bacteria to surgical sites during an operation.

2 See https://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/25/business/25invent.html?_r=0

The FDA has NOT yet recalled the of Bair Hugger® products.

On December 11, 2015, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation granted Meshbesher & Spence’s petition, creating MDL No. 2666, which centralizes all federally filed cases in the District of Minnesota for pretrial discovery purposed. The MDL was assigned to The Honorable Judge Joan Ericksen. “MDLs” are frequently established to create efficiencies for the Court and for all parties, making the process more convenient, saving money, and to avoid inconsistent rulings that may occur if thousands of cases remain spread across various courts around the country.

The FDA has not yet asked for a recall of Bair Hugger blankets.

 

On December 11, 2015, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation granted Meshbesher & Spence’s petition, creating MDL No. 2666, and centralizing all federally filed cases in the District of Minnesota for pretrial discovery purposed. The MDL was assigned to The Honorable Judge Joan Ericksen. “MDLs” are frequently created to creating efficiencies for the Court and the parties, to make the process more convenient and avoid inconsistent rulings.

What to Do

Since its introduction, Bair Hugger ® blankets have been used in more than 200 million surgeries across the globe. Symptoms of a post-surgical infection may include pain, swelling, fever, and fatigue. If left unchecked, an infection can cause permanent disability or even death. Patients usually require revision surgery to clear infections.

Patients who have been diagnosed with infection after a total hip or total knee replacement surgery should seek medical treatment immediately. If you or someone you love believe you may have contracted an infection as a result of a Bair Hugger® product, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible. Meshbesher & Spence is available to answer any questions patients have about the litigation . Please call 612.339.9121 to speak to an attorney.
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